The Miami Herald today editorializes, "Don't turn Florida race into ideological litmus test". Playing off the conservative challenge to the Republican nominee in NY-23, they pontificate:
"Now the conservatives have set their sights on Florida, where Gov. Crist is deemed to have strayed from the fold of true believers by adopting a moderate stance on such issues as President Obama's stimulus package and efforts to pass climate-change legislation. It's up to GOP voters to decide who can best represent the party, but the race in New York's 23rd District is instructive of what can go wrong when outside voices and outside money clash over ideology in local and state races. For one thing, the concerns of the actual voters are apt to be overlooked and results do not necessarily reflect the will of the majority. The 23rd District may be as "Republican" as it has always been, but now it's represented by a Democrat thanks to the GOP's internecine war. A strong and effective two-party system suffers whenever moderates are made to feel unwelcome. The demand for political orthodoxy leads to polarization and political paralysis, the opposite of what most voters say they want."
Funny, I don't remember the Miami Herald editorial page lecturing us about "what can go wrong when outside voices and outside money clash over ideology in local and state races" when the entire national anti war movement backed the unknown challenger to Senator Joe Lieberman in his last Democratic primary. Lieberman, a typical left of center Democratic senator on almost all issues, and a former Democratic vice presidential nominee, was challenged solely because he backed a surge plan of action in Iraq. At the time, there were no Miami Herald editorials warning about the danger of "political orthodoxy" leading "to polarization and political paralysis". There was no discussion of "the effort to enforce political conformity" antagonizing "independents whose votes are needed to forge electoral majorities". No one accused the national anti war movement's activists and fundraisers of "a political witch hunt."
Rather, at the time of the challenge to Lieberman, the Miami Herald (and most of those now warning Republicans of the dangers of "personal attacks and extremist rhetoric") backed the purist left wing challenge to Lieberman.
Why the hypocritical rejection of ideological conformity and partisan loyalty now? Is it because different standards are applied to the different parties?
By the way - - on the day the Miami Herald editorial board was defending Charlie Crist, happy heterosexual newlywed Crist was lieing to the people of Florida - -
"Facing a potentially bruising Republican primary for the U.S. Senate, Gov. Charlie Crist continues to run from any assertion that he is linked to President Barack Obama. Last week Crist told reporters he didn't know Obama was traveling in Florida. On Wednesday, Crist told a national television audience he didn't endorse the $787 billion federal stimulus bill pushed by Obama and passed by Congress in February. "I didn't endorse it," Crist told CNN host Wolf Blitzer. "I - you know, I didn't even have a vote on the darned thing. But I understood that it was going to pass and I wanted to be able to utilize it for the benefit of my fellow Floridians." . . . Crist's comments about the stimulus startled conservatives, Democrats, and frankly, us, who all remember things differently. . . . Let's go back to earlier this year, to see what Crist had to say then. From Hardball with Chris Matthews on Feb. 3: Speaking of the stimulus, Crist said, "It's going to help [Floridians'] children. It's going to help their traffic situation. It's going to help produce more jobs here in the Sunshine State. That's a perspective that I have to have as, in essence, the CEO of Florida. And that's why I support it." From Time on Feb. 10: "I see this package as a pragmatic, common sense opportunity to move forward. I didn't campaign for Obama, we don't agree on everything, but he's my president, and my job is to help Florida stay in the black." From Meet the Press on Feb. 22: Q: Why would you buck your own party, which did not vote for this plan in Congress, as you know, to support the stimulus? Crist: "It's not a matter of bucking the party, it's a matter of helping the people. I mean, I really view it as an issue of what can I do that's best for the people of Florida? We've got almost 20 million people that live in the Sunshine State now. I think my obligation is in essence the CEO of the state, to do everything I can to help us get through this tough economy. Certainly this stimulus package, about $12.2 billion to Florida, will help Florida an awful lot.'' And that's just a sampling. But then there's the rally in Fort Myers on Feb. 10. Crist skipped a Florida Cabinet meeting and a lunch with former Gov. Jeb Bush to tout the stimulus bill in person."